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Define the term "directly or indirectly" ...

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Re: Define the term "directly or indirectly" ...

Postby dls » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:43 pm

ST
By the time you are splitting these hairs, you have lost. No court would join in.
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Re: Define the term "directly or indirectly" ...

Postby Boo » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:21 pm

On a side note...Due to breaches and retractions of restraining orders we're looking at new orders, locally. A faster response time - orders to be enforced within 24 hours and to come with extras, for example; seizing property, fines, evictions...

The idea is to remove the control of the orders from the victim - and look at enforcing approaches to alter patterns of behaviour as well as minimising risks for kids. I looked at local figures about a month or so ago, up to 500 calls are made weekly to my local contact point regarding domestic abuse. The majority of those referrals come from the Police.

That being said, there will always be some who will breach orders and shrug at a custodial sentence.
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Re: Define the term "directly or indirectly" ...

Postby Maz JP » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:57 am

dls wrote:ST
By the time you are splitting these hairs, you have lost. No court would join in.


Just seen this thread, and the above is the right answer. We deal with any numbers of breaches, some serious, some minor, but the reality is that the meaning of 'directly' or 'indirectly' is rarely an issue that is raised.

Facts is that when an order is imposed, the terms are very carefully explained (courts will vary in practice, but for example, I tend to go on a bit about what happens when you encounter the person who is the subject of the order in the street - cross the road etcetera etcetera), and there is really very little excuse for non-compliance, and certainly not one that resides in linguistics, as dls notes.
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Re: Define the term "directly or indirectly" ...

Postby SyntaxTerror » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:09 pm

Then I'm afraid that you must be in a minority, or things have changed dramatically over the course of the past 17 years. The reason that the wording hasn't been brought up is that, like much of the legal system, lawyers, JPs and the courts seem to think that things should stay as they are - never moving. Because to do otherwise might make it TOO difficult to obtain a conviction.

To an ordinary person, the wording is extremely vague and ambiguous. Most people would view it as I do - that it prevents people from deliberately attempting contact. It does not cover incidental or accidental contact. Nor should it ever happen otherwise you start victimising the individual who has the restraining order placed upon them - whether that order was justified or not. You have to remember as well that when the PFHA was introduced, courts were throwing around restraining orders like confetti. I recently discovered a case (2009, I believe) where it was finally decided that restraining orders were only to be used when absolutely necessary - this was, IIRC, due to a challenge regarding the wording of a particular section of the Act. So, many people in the previous NINE YEARS would have been given restraining orders that were unjustified and disproportionate.

But it shows that the wording of ANYTHING, including linguistics, is vitally important when it comes to the law in England and Wales. Or does the principle of "legal certainty" only apply when it's in the favour of the courts?

(Forgot about this thread)
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Re: Define the term "directly or indirectly" ...

Postby atticus » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:26 pm

It is interesting how posters will think that their own opinions, however idiosyncratic, are not uniquely theirs but are those of the man in the street.
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Re: Define the term "directly or indirectly" ...

Postby dls » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:29 am

To an ordinary person, the wording is extremely vague and ambiguous.


It is only ambiguous if the person subject to the order is struggling to see what he can get away with. That very thought suggests a refusal to let go. It is that very refusal to let go which typically leads to the order, and suggests the need for its continuance.

Situations do vary enormously. It is easy to take very minor steps to stay away from the vast majority of people. We all have a circle of people whom it would be more difficult to avoid. The time to worry about that is when the order is made. Courts can and do make allowance for such situations.
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Re: Define the term "directly or indirectly" ...

Postby shootist » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:57 am

atticus wrote:It is interesting how posters will think that their own opinions, however idiosyncratic, are not uniquely theirs but are those of the man in the street.


But if the poster is on the street at the time then it would be. But if he was on the Clapham omnibus, could he also be on the street? And if he was in the street because a steam roller had just ran over him then his opinions may never be known.
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Re: Define the term "directly or indirectly" ...

Postby shootist » Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:10 am

SyntaxTerror wrote:Most people would view it as I do - that it prevents people from deliberately attempting contact. It does not cover incidental or accidental contact.


That would depend upon the order. Can you evidence what most people would think on this subject? There is no reason why it would not cover incidental or accidental contact if the circumstances suggest that the meeting was anything but. "Oh, it was an accident that I walked six miles out of my way while going to work and just happened to pass by her house just at the moment she was leaving for work. I bumped into her because I wasn't looking where I was going." As has been pointed out, it is rarely difficult to avoid a person named on a restraining order. It's usually very easy indeed. and 'incidental contact', what's that, and to whom is it incidental?

I would suggest that a person served with such an order would have to be exceptionally thick (enough to require an appropriate adult), or exceptionally determined to try and overcome it, to be unable to avoid such contacts. E.G. walking down a city centre street, the person is walking towards you on the same side of the road, you cross over. You enter a small tobacconist's and the other person is in there, you turn round and leave. You're in there an they enter, you ignore them, complete your transaction and leave ASAP. No problem unless it's every day that week in which case you should have found a different emporium.
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Re: Define the term "directly or indirectly" ...

Postby Maz JP » Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:10 pm

SyntaxTerror wrote:To an ordinary person, the wording is extremely vague and ambiguous. Most people would view it as I do - that it prevents people from deliberately attempting contact. It does not cover incidental or accidental contact.


Strange, but I thought I explained back in February that in Court I go out of my way to explain to people what the wording means, including covering accidental contact....

Maz JP wrote: I tend to go on a bit about what happens when you encounter the person who is the subject of the order in the street - cross the road etcetera etcetera).


Oh yes, so I did.

Restraining Orders matter. So, therefore, does explaining what they mean : and that means talking about them and their requirements in a way that the person in the dock clearly understands.
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Re: Define the term "directly or indirectly" ...

Postby DannyJP » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:10 pm

I am also explicit and go to some lengths to explain. I know other colleagues do too.
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